As you research options for replacing your business’ air conditioning and ventilation system, there are a few things to consider, including the unit’s potentially damaging effect on the atmosphere.
The EPA’s ban on refrigerant R-22 went into effect at the start of 2010. R-22 contains a combination of hydrogen, carbon, chlorine, and fluorine that has damaged the ozone layer. Regulatory agencies and standards organizations have responded by limiting options to obtain it and will phase it out altogether by 2020.
Yet, today, some older commercial air conditioning systems in Arizona still use this coolant. Businesses put off upgrading air conditioner equipment to save costs and avoid downtime. If your business’s air-conditioning system still uses R-22 in an older A/C system, it’s time to get a compliant, more energy-efficient model. Over time, that efficiency will save you money, too.
R-22 and The Clean Air Act
The law also governs the methods of handling R-22 including recovery and recycling, reclamation, and destruction. Only recycled or reclaimed refrigerant is available now, but even this will be completely phased out by 2020.
The new coolant approved by the agency is R410A. It cannot be used with older AC systems and there are no inexpensive modification hacks to make older air conditioners compatible with the new coolant. Businesses can choose to do nothing right now but, if equipment breaks down or Freon is frequently needed, it’s clear the system is old and tired.
Modern, Energy-efficient Models are Available
Maintenance by an Arizona air-conditioning service can save up to 40% in upkeep and repairs. Switching over to a more efficient model is another reason to upgrade. Today’s units are built to handle approved coolant that’s more environmentally friendly. Those certified by ENERGY STAR meet the most current energy efficiency guidelines and are more than 15% more efficient than older models. Look for high SEER and EER ratings, as well.
Cost of Not Upgrading
Deciding when to upgrade is also influenced by assessing the cost of not doing so.
- Unable to find refrigerant when needed: Coolant like R-22 is getting hard to find and its price continues to rise, making it among the most expensive coolants on the market.
- Reduced efficiency/high energy bills: Even with routine maintenance and repairs, older air-conditioning units are not as efficient as newer models. Plus, much of what’s spent to fix units and pay higher energy bills can go toward the inevitable upgrade.
- Legal non-compliance: As regulations become stricter later, your company will face fines, tax penalties, and other regulatory impositions. At some point, it will be more practical to upgrade your heating and cooling system.
Perks of Upgrading
Achieving efficiency, savings, and regulatory compliance are among the most obvious advantages for Arizona companies to upgrade their A/C systems. Another perk is the intelligent monitoring system. By collecting and analyzing data from HVAC devices connected to the Internet, these systems allow building managers and engineers to remotely monitor performance. This data helps utility and facility managers view trends and receive alerts if something breaks down. Another advantage is the ability to track and report energy consumption.
Now is the time for your business to consider an A/C upgrade. You will save your company a great deal in energy bills, regulatory penalties, and in upgrading a worn-out, dated system.